Daniel Rohrer, Jr. claims he is running a cattle farm dedicated to producing top-quality meat, but the Washington County Humane Society in Maryland couldn’t disagree more. On November 24, after several anonymous tips, a warrant was issued to search the farm located in the bucolic countryside of Boonsboro, Maryland, about an hour from Washington, D.C. Once access to the farm was obtained, humane society officer Crystal Mowery said “I actually felt like I was watching something off a TV.” The conditions were deplorable, she added.
“There were dead animals in the barn in various stages of decomposition. I specifically asked about the dead animals and was told ‘they lay where they die.’”
Outside the barn, conditions were no better, with no food for animals to be found and only murky, brackish water. There were skeletal cattle and bones of animals spread over the fields, according to Kimberley Intino, chief executive officer, Humane Society.
“I’ve worked animal welfare for over 25 years, and this is the worse case I have ever seen.”
Besides decomposing carcasses everywhere, no food or fresh water, and starving animals, the goats’ and sheep hooves were severely overgrown, which would have impeded movement.
Officer Mowery says pictures shed only a glimpse before they seized cows, sheep and goats; 95 in total.
“There was manure and feces everywhere.”
WJZ of Baltimore got in touch with the defendant’s attorney, Rebecca Lusk, who says her client disputes all charges.
“Mr. Rohrer adamantly disputes all of the criminal charges that have been filed against him and will be vigorously defending the charges. Mr. Rohrer provides all the necessary food, water and care for his animals and the animals that were seized were all healthy. Mr. Rohrer is a meat producer and takes great pride in the high quality meats that he sells and he would not be able to produce such high quality meat from animals that had been neglected. Mr. Rohrer is confident he will be able to prevail in court and defeat the charges.”
Intino says it does not matter whether animals are used as food sources or are pets, they must be treated humanely. For now, the Washington County Human Society awaits the outcome of Mr. Rohrer’s hearing, set for March.
“The Humane Society has already invested a lot of money into taking care of these animals and we still have a few months before criminal trial. We are appealing to the community for any donations so we can continue this work and help these animals and the over 6,000 animals that come through our doors over the year.”
All of the animals have been placed with foster homes, Intino said.
Rohrer is charged with over 300 counts of animal cruelty. If convicted, each count against Rohrer carries up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
[image via WJZ13 Baltimore]